Chocolate and cocoa products supplier Barry Callebaut has increased its sales volumes by 6.3% in the past year – ahead of the 1.8% increase in the overall chocolate confectionery market.

Announcing its full-year results for 2017/18, the business reported that sales volumes had topped two million tonnes for the first time, with growth driven by emerging markets and gourmet and speciality products. Overall sales revenue rose 0.1% to £5.3bn (CHF6.9bn) in local currencies, and was up 2.1% in Swiss Francs.

The company said its recently announced acquisition of Inforum, a B2B chocolate manufacturer in Russia, and its new long-term supply agreement with Burton’s Biscuit Company underlined the growth potential in the mostly mature European chocolate and confectionery markets.

Over the past financial year, sales volumes in Callebaut’s EMEA region had been driven by growth in the food manufacture and gourmet markets. EMEA volumes rose 6.8% to 925,144 tonnes while the chocolate confectionery market grew by +1.9%.

Sales revenue in EMEA was flat in local currencies at £2,341m (CHF3,073m) and rose 5.9% in Swiss francs. Operating profit was up +11.2% in local currencies to £268m (CHF352.0m) and rose 18.1% in Swiss francs.

“I am delighted to announce a set of very strong results. The consistent execution of our ‘smart growth’ strategy enabled all our regions and product groups to contribute to top- and bottom-line, delivering on our mid-term guidance,” said Barry Callebaut Group CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique.

Activity by Callebaut in the financial year has included the launch of ruby, which is described as the fourth type of chocolate. The business has also extended its dairy-free chocolate portfolio in the US, and its range of sugar-reduced options.